Fast Food Toys Aren’t Just For Kids

McDonalds Happy Meal
McDonalds Happy Meal

Anyone can be a big collector of fast food toys, but the simple truth is that most avid collectors are grown ups! With every new movie, video game or comic book a new toy shows up in one of the fast food chains. And, each one quickly becomes a much loved collectable for someone.

These cute little toys started out as a lure to get children to ask for the restaurants kid meals. But, adults are often seen buying these small portion meals just to get another toy to add to their collection! The small toys quickly became the biggest advertising gimmick in the world.

McDonald’s has got to be the king of fast food toys. Their first toys were introduced in 1979 and were merely items like stencils, puzzle books and erasers. Later that year, they introduced their first movie themed toys to promote the Star Trek movie.

Happy Meal Toy
Happy Meal Toy

With┬átheir addition of fast food toys McDonald’s has became largest toy distributor in the world! The company gives out or sells over 1.5 billion toys each year. Many of which have been grabbed up by collectors and never even opened!

They’ve also had some of the best and most popular fast food toys ever made through their alliance with Walt Disney. Although, Disney severed their ties with the food chain giant in 2006, the Walt Disney toys are one of the top collectable fast food toys.

There are literally millions of identical fast food toys given out each year. This makes them easily available and not really valuable on their own. However, since fast food toys are released in series, a collector that needs that one toy to finish their set might be willing to pay well for the toy.

The earliest fast food toys were actually added to the packaging rather than included in with the meal. During the 60’s Sonic began adding zoopicks to their cups, zoopicks were small animals made of plastic that just hung on the side of kid’s cups.

Fast food toys have came a long ways from just puzzle books and basic plastic figures. Now these tiny toys are almost identical to their larger versions sold in department stores. Manufacturers began to incorporate flashing lights, noises and even voices to many of the more modern toys.

Although, most of the fast food toys can be bought unopened for less than $10, the value can differ greatly depending on demand. And, the highest monetary value of course is placed on completed sets of each hugely popular series.

There are around 14 fast food restaurants that use toys as a part of their advertising. And, while all aren’t actually valuable, the biggest majority of them have became collectable for many people.

With fast food toys, the value can’t be measured in dollars. The value is in the eye of the collector! Whether it’s because the toy promotes a favorite movie, a much loved comic book hero or a popular television show, fast food toys are well loved, treasured collectables!

Written by Connie Corder, Copyright 2008

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